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By Marjorie Swann
A craze for amassing swept England through the 16th and 17th centuries. Aristocrats and middling-sort males alike stuffed their houses packed with a bewildering number of actual items: old cash, medical tools, minerals, mummified corpses, zoological specimens, vegetation, ethnographic gadgets from Asia and the Americas, statues, snap shots. Why have been those strange jumbles of artifacts so popular?
In Curiosities and Texts, Marjorie Swann demonstrates that collections of actual gadgets have been relevant to early glossy English literature and tradition. Swann examines the well-known number of rarities assembled through the Tradescant kinfolk; the improvement of English average heritage; narrative catalogs of English panorama good points that began appearing within the Tudor and Stuart sessions; the writings of Ben Jonson and Robert Herrick; and the basis of the British Museum.
Through this wide-ranging sequence of case stories, Swann addresses vital questions: How used to be the gathering, which used to be understood as a kind of cultural capital, appropriated in early smooth England to build new social selves and modes of subjectivity? and the way did literary texts—both as fabric gadgets and as cars of representation—participate within the strategy of negotiating the cultural value of creditors and amassing? Crafting her targeted argument with a stability of element and perception, Swann sheds new gentle on fabric culture's dating to literature, social authority, and private identity.
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